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12/23/09

Permalink 11:27:50 am, by Melba
Categories: Business

American Airlines crashes in Jamaica

American Airlines flight AA331 from Miami crash landed at Norman Manley Intl Airport in Kingston on Tuesday night at 10:25pm December 22, 2009. Praise the Lord, there were no fatalities. According to initial reports the Boeing 738 aircraft carrying 145 passengers aboard overran the runway and ended up on the Port Royal main road. It is reported that approximately 45 persons were injured and taken to the hospital.

While we wait on more details here are some pictures.

 

12/22/09

Permalink 11:29:02 am, by Melba
Categories: Entertainment

‘Night on Tracks’ featuring Asafa Powell and Friends in concert

In the midst of all the controversy with Vybz Kartel and Movado, the intolerable increase of the tax package and the madness of getting ready for Christmas it was really nice to see the picture of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and American sprinter Tyson Gay together dancing obviously having a great time. The event was the ‘Night on Tracks’ featuring Asafa Powell and friends in concert at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.

 

Unfortunately I was not there; I can only read about it in the Gleaner. They say a picture can say a thousand words and this is definitely one on them. I must confess that the picture placed a smile on my face and a glimmer of hope in my heart. Here was a positive message going out to our people, something that we are desperately in need of today. We have so many negatives going on right now that any positive is very welcomed.

 

On the tracks Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay are major rivals. No Jamaican wants to see Tyson Gay win a race, especially if Usain and/or Asafa are in it. Mark you, a 100 metre race is not a race these days if at least 2 of these guys are not in it. However that is on the tracks, as it should be. It was great to see Tyson Gay here as a guest of Asafa on another level. I hope Vybz Kartel and Movado can both learn something from these guys.

 

Nuff love

12/21/09

Permalink 07:10:50 pm, by Melba
Categories: Politics, Commentary

Jamaican’s Unbearable Tax Package

Once the initial shock from the new tax package with increased General Consumption Tax (GCT) of 17.5% announcement wore off and the implications of what it will really meant to every Jamaican (especially the poor) sank in, I was very upset. All weekend ‘mi a stew’ because I felt so helpless. But when I listened to the news yesterday and saw the Gleaner this morning I felt even more ‘bex’ (that is long, long pass vex).

 

Here is what upsets me the most, the Prime Minister, Mr. Golding is now saying that he will reconsider the tax package announced last week. People, help me to understand, you mean to tell me that the government could be so irresponsible (especially at this time, a week before Christmas) to deliver such an unbearable tax package to the nation before they were certain that there was no other way out? If they had ‘climbed every mountain and forded every sea’, if they had delivered a carefully thought out package then there would be nothing to reconsider. Jamaica is full of bright people, if the government did not have the answers why didn’t they ask for help. One gets the impression that the first thing that comes to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, Audley Shaw’s head they just do it. Or is it that the IMF people gave them instructions which they just followed?

 

‘Dawg news paper’ (rumor) has it that Mr. Golding didn’t give us all of the bad news yet. In fact Mr. Golding himself had said previously that public sector workers will have to be laid off. And if that is not bad enough, there will be no increase in salary for the next two or three years while every thing is going up in price. And you know that the private companies take their cue from the public sector so they are going to lay off people too. (It is happening right now). Now if that is not a formula for disaster, then what is? And remember the money that is presently being borrowed is only to pay back loan, no development for the country is in that. So what happens after the money from the IMF runs out? We still haven’t made plans to build anything, develop any industries, start anything or train anybody, so where does the ‘continue’ money come from.

 

As I hear nuff people saying, Mr. Golding makes the Grinch who stole Christmas look like a saint. As to all the store owners, they can’t be very happy right now, for no body was in the shops this weekend, (the weekend before Christmas) everybody has started to pinch their few dollars already. I don’t know about you all, but I am ready to protest. We don’t have to ‘gwan’ bad, but it is time we take a stand. This is our country, Jamaica land we love, not JLP country or PNP country, its time for the Jamaican’s People Power to speak.

 

Nuff Love

12/20/09

Permalink 04:37:00 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Entertainment, Culture, Business

Clash Prospects for Sting 2009

In Jamaica the christmas season means more than just santa claus, food, christmas trees, christmas lights (Or pepper lights as they are more popularly known), shopping till you're broke, and snow... well definitely not snow because of the whole... tropical, climate thing, yea that thing. Christmas is also the time for what is basically the greatest one night reggae show on earth, 'Sting'.

Now if anybody reading this blog and saying that they are Jamaican doesn't know about Sting, you may just have to do a resit for your Jamaican card, or it maybe revoked. Sting has become a staple of dancehall and reggae culture in Jamaica since the 1980's when the show started and it has always been met with ripe controversy, excellent performances and of course clashes. The Lyrical clash is just what makes dancehall, dancehall. In the clash, artistes who are at the top of their game will basically find a rival and compete lyrically on stage with an on the spot freestyle.

Sounds simple enough right? Just imagine standing in front of 40,000 people and having to come up with lyrics on the spot that can:

A) Grab the crowd
B) Diss your rival
C) Stay with the rhythm (riddim)
D) Be better than everything your rival has said about you

All at the same time.

Now I dont know about you, but to me just the 40,000 people alone would be reason enough for me release a steady stream of urine into my pants for the entire time I'm on stage, with the addition of all that stuff hyperventilation and sudden death are certainly forthcoming.

However artists do it, and they sound good doing it. I have written before on many of the clashes of yesteryear and as Sting draws ever so close (next week close), the heat is on as to what this year's clash will be... After all what's sting without clash, its like saying Jamaica with good politicians, it just doesnt work. However some of the possible clashes which has been slated are:

Bounty Killer v Vybz Kartel - The prospect for this clash has been going on for some time now but Bounty Killer unfortunately for Kartel, grew up and didn't want to clash with him in previous years. However this all changed this year when the Warlord get upset! (song title), and started to lyrically abuse Kartel for allt he things that he has done. The situation has gotten to the point where Jamaicans want to see a clash and this should be quite exciting and is most possible (even though both artists have said they do not intend to clash, but would be willing to) . Kartel being the excellent lyricist he is and bounty killer being the veteran that he is will make for an excellent contest... if Kartel doesn't decide to start attacking people on stage again.

Bounty Killer v            Kartel

Flippa Mafia v Elephant man - Now Ele has never been the clash artist, but something happened this year and he began to get into lyrical altercations with new artist Flippa Mafia and it has been ongoing. Now really most people couldn't care less about this clash, and it would really just be a sideshow as both artists aren't exactly the best lyricists out there. However the possibility does exist that it may just happen.

LA Lewis v Mr. G (Goofy) - I'm sure everybody who is paying attentino to dancehall foudn themselves laughing continuously at this prospect. Jamaica's greatest vandalist (LA Lewis) was reportedly gun butted by Mr. G and it has all been down hill from then on as they both seem to be at ends with each other. However this clash has been slated to take place, and its even on the sting poster. However really and truly nobody cares about this clash taking place... but it would be quite funny though wouldn't it : )

Yes I did not write about Kartel v Movado, the fact remains, they have both seemingly come to peace with each other so this clash will probably not happen.

12/18/09

Permalink 05:14:28 pm, by Melba
Categories: Politics, Commentary

General Consumption Tax (GCT) Increases Effective January 01, 2010

Yesterday December 17, 2009, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Audley Shaw announced in parliament that effective January 01, 2010 the General Consumption Tax (GCT) which is presently 16.5% will be increased to 17.5%. Not only will the GCT be increasing but the list of basic items subject to GCT is also expanding. GCT will also be imposed on the supply of electricity to residential premises, to the supply of sewerage disposal services, to gas tax and to cigarettes. Overall they hope to raise 21.81 billion.

 

Now, after the Prime Minister, Bruce Goldings, disclosed that there would be increases in taxes as soon as the IMF deal was in place, everyone was ‘kinda’ bracing themselves. However many of us had no idea that they would target all the basic items that the poorest in the society depend on or must use on a daily basis. Examples, salt, sugar, baking flour, eggs, patties, syrup, wheat, fresh fruits, vegetables, ground provisions onions, garlic, meat, cornmeal, sanitary towels and tampons, disposable diapers for the incontinent to name a few. Not to mention the long, long list of medical supplies, educational things, and labour related stuff which are also now included in the GCT net.

 

So once again the poor people in Jamaica get a royal whipping. At some point there will be diminishing returns from taxation and I’m sure we are very close if not there already. There is going to be a contracting effect on the economy. Crime is going to increase. Poor people can’t bear anymore. Anyway we still have the Christmas to get through. Not sure it will be merry for many but we all ‘haffi’ go be real thrifty from now on.

 

Nuff Love.

12/17/09

Permalink 10:06:56 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Entertainment, Business

Jazz Festival 2010 looks exciting!

I'm not gonna focus on the govt taxes or the IMF
I'm not gonna focus on the govt taxes or the IMF
I'm not gonna focus on the govt taxes or the IMF
I'm not gonna focus on the govt taxes or the IMF

...

Ok I had to give myself lines a while ago to prevent ... myself from writing about the depressing situation which has been brought on to us Jamaicans thanks to our bumbling government. No I want to keep positive, I want to write positive posts to make this season a little more joyful. So I went on a search for a nice topic to ease my mind a bit and after sifting through the newspapers I found that preparations for Jazz festival are now in full swing... yay!

To all who dont know, the Jamaica jazz festival is a 3-4 day event which basically celebrates Jazz and Blues and R & B music and is held every year at the end of January and Early February and has featured artists such as Earth Wind and Fire, Alicia keys, John legend, Macy Gray, Diana Ross (who disappointed... still vexed about this), Billy Ocean, Koko taylor, bo diddley... and the list goes on and on. All in all it has always been a pretty good event with a nice sized following.

The 2010 event looks to be just as excellent a show as we have grown to expect. The headliners announced so far include: Billy Ocean (yay), Machel Montano (Soca music... ok), The Whispers, Third World, Maxi Priest, Joss Stone, Robin Banks, Roy Ayers, The Queen Project (?)  and Hall and Oates. I'm bubbling with excitement at getting the opportunity to listen to Billy Ocean again as he was an excellent performer at this year's staging and I'm thinking he can bring it again, and I'm also excited about Third World, Maxi Priest and oh yea I forgot to mention GLADYS KNIGHT. Yes the empress of soul will be performing at next year's jazz festival!

Gladys knight image taken from bloggersmusic.com

Yes I'm excited to hear her because I've never heard her perform live before and I think she will be excellent as her voice is magical. Also the venue of the Jazz festival has also changed to the Trelawny multipurpose stadium, another interesting move by the producers of the show but one which I think will not fail.

All in all I cant wait for next year's staging as this show looks like it could be epic...

Wait, what am I saying, knowing what the government plans to do I'll probably just have to write about it because I doubt I can afford to attend this show. What next Shaw? Are you gonna tax the air?*grumble*

12/16/09

Permalink 09:37:37 pm, by Melba
Categories: Commentary

Christmas Bonus

The word ‘bonus’ means extra, windfall, plus, additional benefit or “brawta’ as we would say in Jamaica.  It’s not ‘a must’; yu no haffi get it; however it’s something that most people expect at Christmas time. You get an envelope from the post man and the garbage collectors to fill. Your helper and gardener (if you have them) are both expecting it. In fact every where you go people expect you to ‘let off something extra’ because it’s Christmas.

 

Most Companies try to give Christmas Bonus to their staff. (Unfortunately my company has never given it, no not ever, and I’m there forever. OK enough self pity.) Usually staff are given anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks pay. Some companies give a percentage of the profits made over a period or give staff targets to aim for and then give bonus as an incentive. Which ever way it’s done it’s always a welcome thing at Christmas with all the extra expenses that we incur.

 

This year however, ‘nuff, nuff’ people corner dark. No money naa run. Most companies can barely keep up with regular salaries much less bonus. One friend of mine spoke to me today, most upset that she has not received any bonus as yet.  Today is December 16th people, eight days before ‘D’ day, wake up, if yu no get it areddi yu naa get it again. And from what I have been hearing, those who have gotten have gotten less than in previous years.

 

Well if we still was trying to deny the recession, it kinda steering us in the face now. Not to mention the chain effect, cause if I don’t get, then I don’t have, then I can’t give. Anyway Jamaicans are very ingenious people. So dem lick we down, we bounce rite back.

See today, dem lock off down town King street to vehicle traffic, the vendors slashed prices (or so dem sey) and open till 10:00pm tonight so that people can shop for less. And the Chicken people say from Friday this week December 18, to December 23 you can buy chicken wholesale for less, cause the prices will be slashed. Mark yu, people usually buy more pork at this time anyway, so i think dem just trying to boost dem sales. Which ever way, it’s something. So keep listening for the bargains, pinch yu few dollars and lets all have a wonderful Christmas.

 

Nuff love

Permalink 08:22:05 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Business

West Indies Cricket... recovery possible?

I just realized today that despite the fact that I follow sports religiously (like most men) I've never really wrote enough articles about sports, ok yes I've written a few but not to the extent that I usually do. I dunno maybe its all this school work I've been doing. Anyway I will be honest, I haven't been paying much attention to the current Austrailian tour by the West Indies. However I dont need to be watching to realize that WI are doing poorly. Yes we managed to draw the second test and are hoping to attain victory in the 3rd test but the fact remains WI cricket has been on a downward slope since the glory days of the 70's, 80's and early 90's.

But there is that question as to why this is happening? People will first cite that its the quality of players that have fallen, there is no regional development program to ensure cricket continues to strive... Well I dont know about the rest of the Caribbean but I disagree with this as far as cricket goes in Jamaica. Jamaica still has highly contested cricket leagues from the schoolboy level to the club level. I'm so sure I can in fact be sure when I state that STETHS won this years Headley cup (under 19 cricket cup). Also our club competitions are still pretty much there with melbourne and kingston club still in bitter competition with each other during the season... So I disagree about no developmental level cricket.

Then there is the other argument that its all the WICB's fault. The regional cricket body has basically been screwing up WI cricket by turning the running of the institution into a boys club where only certain people will be allowed to participate at the top level and basically placing the youths (ie the future of WI cricket) into a state of limbo as they dont know what to do with their talent... Well the newspapers speak for themselves. The WICB has been screwing the pooch, poor management and favouritism has been breeding mediocre cricket and turning talented cricketers into jokes.

drop catch

And then you also have the argument that cricket has simply lost its luster. Nobody wants to stand in the sun all day for 5 days to play a sport that can be rather boring at times except in its shorter version and its even shorter 20/20 version (which by the way has added some new viewers to the sport). This is an argument which I think also has some merit. Because despite the fact that WI cricketers are definitely paid nicely, they do have a job that I'm not sure I'd be able to stand for too long.

All in all though I dont think the problem is any ONE of the issues I presented above... It's all of them. Cricket as a sport has been on a downward spiral overall as people just cant afford to waste 5 days of their already hectic workweek (not to say people could previously) watching a single sport. Its counter-productive. And how do you entice people to play a sport when people aren't watching it?

frustration

 

I dont think cricket especially WI cricket is at the point of no return. It is recoverable. With some hard work and focus we can definitely regain the glory that was WI cricket.... However I do believe it is time for a major reshuffling of the cricket world. People still look at 20/20 cricket as a joke but look at the viewership that the recent standford 20/20 tournament had received ... literally EVERYBODY was watching it. Not because it was new... but because it was lively and exciting. Exactly the kind of things that this sport needs to bring itself back to the glory days. The talent is there, the foundation is there, the resources are there... so lets just do something about wi cricket!

cricket scream

Permalink 11:28:08 am, by sweets
Categories: Entertainment, Culture

Spruce Up Countdown

Journeying Out Of  Town

 

“Oh boy!” sure was a hectic week gone by, as school “rap up” for the Christmas holidays you become so “drained out” you can actually feel your eyes popping out of your head, especially if your child (ren) is involved in the schools’ Christmas concert. I had to waiting on my daughter each day ( Yu bruk yu neck in the traffic thinking you’re late) only to hear “Mommy, I need 15 mins more to finish up this rehersal, please, please Mommy. Well, the performances were breathe taking and parents can now focus on their Christmas home chores.

 

For a little relaxation, I journeyed to Clarendon,(this parish is noted for the production of sugar-cane and now I get to understand sorrel all year round) to visit my parents, if I didn’t know the journey (by art) familiar, I would think I was lost, almost all the houses that were painted white are now “nicely coloured” (the new in thing for homes, colours), trees, lawns and hedges nicely manicured, if I may say so. My parents have also started doing their spruce up in their own “senior” way.

Of course, my Dad made sure to remind me to get some poinsettas for him so he can place them all over the house (part of his décor).

 

Us Jamaicans just love “spruce up” and we love to wait for the last minute, because we “don’t’ want the setting to get stale) the closer the days to Christmas we “bleach “ the whole night getting things done. Usually, in all of the excitement “something go get lef”, now that might be my kitchen. Got the paint recently, and every week-end my husband is going to paint, and of course I have moved out some of the things, but guess what, 9 more days left for Christmas. (there’s hope).

 

Walk good, and I’ll keep you posted with the “spruce up” excitement.

 

One Love, Sweets

12/15/09

Permalink 06:36:18 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Entertainment

Buju Banton found with Cocaine

Well it's happened again, an artiste has been found trying to import cocaine to the US... *sigh*... What gets to me the most is that this is an artiste who I have the utmost of respect for because of his music and his beliefs and that is Buju Banton. Buju an artiste who I featured in an article last week for being nominated for the grammy awards, is an artiste of an international caliber. He has released a number of albums over the years all of which have been getting steady airplay, with some people (me included) still amazed at the quality of music that this man is able to push out.

He has always been the subject of much controversy abroad due to his song Boom Bye Bye and the controversy because of this song has been recently covered in my article "The gay bashing of local artistes" and has been an ongoing one since the song's release. However it seems Buju has got himself into a situation which will not be an "easy road". As we all know, the jail time that one receives if he tries to sell the drug is not exactly what can be described as a slap on the wrist(20 years in prison), it would've made much more sense to go and beat a somebody or something, but this charge will definitely come with deportation, something which I'm sure the gays would be glad to hear (i'll get into that part in a second).

Buju Banton

According to the reports, Buju and Ian Thomas was caught on camera with a large quantity of cocaine and were making plans to have it sold. This is the part of the case that really scares me the most (as a Buju fan), I truly doubt that he will be able to get away with much seeing as he was caught on audio and video and in another more recent article a lawyer said:

that the allegations, which are reportedly supported by audio and video recordings, show that Buju and his co-accused will have a hard fight.

"This is a very tight affidavit. However, that does not mean that there may not be information that may arise at a later stage which might factually challenge some of the claims that have been made," Rowe said.

It is alleged that in the tape Buju even went as far as to test the quality of the product, and made an order for in the area of 15 kilograms of the product.

Now I wont pass any judgement until I have seen a verdict passed, after all I'm hoping that Buju has a reason for disappointing all of his fans (you couldnt at least a sell some weed buju). However I think its kindof coincidental that this event happened at the end of a very successful tour and a grammy nomination - much to the chagrin of the gay community. Sadly I will have to join the views of the masses when I say I think he was setup, I just dont want to believe that he would do such a thing.

*sigh*...

Also Michael Pryce passed away yesterday. He was a journalist for CVM-TV and most people will have heard him once or twice if they have ever watched the station. May he Rest in peace. I shall make a writeup on him as soon as possible

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The Small Sandal Shop

A married couple was on holiday in Jamaica. They were touring around the marketplace looking at the goods when they passed this small sandal shop.

From inside they heard the shopkeeper with a Jamaican accent say, "You!

Foreigners! Come in, come into my humble shop."

So the married couple walked in.

The Jamaican said to them, "I have some special sandals I think you would be interested in. They make you wild at sex."

Well, the wife was really interested in buying the sandals after what the man claimed, but her husband felt he really didn't need them, being the sex god he was.

The husband asked the man, "How could sandals make you into a sex freak?"

The Jamaican replied, "Just try them on."

Well, the husband, after some badgering from his wife, finally gave in, and tried them on. As soon as he slipped them onto his feet, he got this wild look in his eyes, something his wife hadn't seen in many years!

In the blink of an eye, the husband grabbed the Jamaican, bent him

violently over a table, yanked down his pants, ripped down his own pants,and grabbed a firm hold of the Jamaican's hips.

The Jamaican then began screaming; "YOU GOT THEM ON THE WRONG FEET!!!"

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